Writing-on-Stone family camping trip

I took the four older children camping this weekend. Regan’s scout troop had originally planned to join with a local Cub Pack for a day trip to Writing-on-Stone. We heard a few other families were planning to camp overnight, and since we hadn’t gone camping in a few years, we thought it would be a great idea to camp ourselves.

I went onto the website for the park a few weeks ago to see what campsites were like and what facilities were there. I noticed there were only 5 unpowered sites left (we do real camping with tents, fire cooking, etc), so I decided to reserve a spot. It turned out to be a great spot, just a few steps from the outhouse, and a minute or two from the water source and the flush toilets.

A few days later, we found out the Scout troop decided to go on a day trip to Waterton for hiking instead. I left the choice up to Regan to go camping instead of hiking. He picked camping (that’s my boy).

I took the day off work yesterday, so we could get packed, and we left around 15:30. Shortly after we passed New Dayton, about 45 minutes out of Lethbridge, I realized we forgot the reservation papers. We turned around and headed back home. We were back on our way with papers on hand. It’s a good thing we went back because the campground was full.

We arrived around 18:00 and set up camp.

Setting up camp Our campsite

Once all the tents were set up, we got a fire going, and had hamburgers and hotdogs  for supper. We didn’t eat until 20:00 or so, and after we washed up and I got the bed ready for me, Aisling, and Aoibheann, we sat around singing songs and telling stories. We went to bed around 22:30.

Our campsite Reading Being a ham

We got up before 7:00 this morning, and I got a fire started. I knew we’d have to meet the Cubs at 10:00, so we wanted to get things going. I made pancakes over the fire for the children and I cooked eggs for myself.

Morning warm up exercises My breakfast

While the children were taking down the tents, I washed the dishes. We broke camp about 9:45, packed up the van, and joined the Cubs.

We started off with a hike down the 1.7 km Hoodoo Trail. Aisling, Aoibheann, and I had a late start, so we only made it 1.2 km before we met up with the others on the way back. I was proud of Aisling, who at only 6 years old made it the 1.2 km there and 1.2 km back without complaining and being able keep up. She is quite the hiker! Even Aoibheann was a trooper, making the first 1.2 km leg without complaining. Only 3 years old, she couldn’t make it back, so I carried her on my shoulders the rest of the way.

Everyone ate hotdogs and watermelon for dinner, then we hiked up to the visitor centre for some activities, then played games in he hoodoos.

Aisling and Aoibheann were a bit too young for the games, so we hiked and climbed around the hoodoos. It turns out that Aisling is not only a great hiker, but she is an amazing climber. I never had to help her up once, even when the spot was very steep and there seemed to be no toeholds. She was like a little monkey. Even Aoibheann was pretty impressive, following Aisling everywhere and needing help a handful of times.

Aoibheann & Aisling climbing in the hoodos Aoibheann & Aisling climbing in the hoodos

Anyhow, after the games, we all packed into the van, and we headed home exhausted but happy. Everyone had a blast. We really need to do this more often.